This Article is From Apr 09, 2009

Sri Lanka clashes kill 40, Japanese envoy issues warning

Sri Lanka clashes kill 40, Japanese envoy issues warning
Colombo: At least 40 Tamil Tiger militants and two soldiers were killed in clashes in Sri Lanka's embattled north, as the visiting Japanese peace envoy hinted that Tokyo may withhold aid to Colombo if violence escalates.

At least 200 militants and six army men have been killed since the decision to scrap the six year-old Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) was taken by the government on January 2, a military spokesperson said.

Sporadic clashes broke out in Parappakandal at the North-western Mannar defences on Monday, resulting in the death of at least 22 militants, the Army said.

In Jaffna, at least 10 militants were killed in continuing ground battles with the Army in Muhamalai and Nagarkovil areas on Monday.

Another eight Tamil Tigers were killed during clashes at Periyapantdivirichchan, Vilathikulama, Kattikkulama, Palaikkulai and Kokkuthuduvai defences in Vavuniya front.

Two soldiers also lost their lives and 24 other were wounded in the various confrontations, which took place in the north on Monday, the military said.

This includes a few soldiers who were injured in an IED explosion at Muhamalai on Monday, they said.

With the possibility of an all-out war breaking out in the wake of scrapping of the CFA, Japan, the largest donor to Sri Lanka, on Tuesday indicated that it may block aid to the Island nation if violence escalates.

Japanese Peace envoy Yasushi Akashi, who was sent to Sri Lanka before the end of the CFA on Wednesday, said ",We will closely monitor the situation here before taking further action.",